Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si, advocates a new “ecological spirituality.” Yet this challenging call is diminished by the document’s tendency to devolve into leftish policy positions. The encyclical underestimates the power of market forces to promote environmental ends.
There are serious environmental problems but Laudato Si presumes rather than proves crisis is the norm. Moreover, nothing in Scripture or nature tells us how much to spend to clean up the air.
Drawing environmental lines requires balancing such interests as ecology, liberty, and prosperity. One cannot merely assume that the correct outcome in every case is more of the first.
Indeed, the Pontiff’s own goals conflict. He speaks movingly of the dignity of work and its importance for the poor. But the more expensive and extensive the government controls, the fewer and less remunerative the jobs.